Roughly 3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to unleash widespread economic havoc on an already depleted U.S. workforce.
The new applications for aid add to the total 36.5 million workers that have sought to receive weekly unemployment checks in the past eight weeks, according to the new federal data, erasing years of economic gains and threatening lasting devastation to the country that rivals even the Great Depression.
The flood of new claims threatens to add to the tension between President Trump and public-health officials over how quickly to try and restart parts of the economy, with Trump on Thursday alleging that some Democrats are trying to slow the process down in order to hurt him politically.
“The less successful we are in reopening, the better they are, maybe for an election," the president said during an interview on Fox News. "They would rather see our country fail, and you know what that means, because part of failure is death, than have me get elected.”
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